According to the 2020 McAfee and Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) report – the global Hidden Costs of Cybercrime Beyond Economic Impact, cybercrime is an increasing threat, costing approximately $945 billion a year and Manhattan residents and its small businesses are not immune to its dangers.
Anyone can be a cybercrime victim. However, despite a $10 million state-of-the-art Cyber Lab, the Manhattan DA’s Cybercrime Unit is narrowly focused on helping large corporations, not everyday New Yorkers. If an individual, a small business or nonprofit organization needs the help of the current Manhattan DA to investigate a ransomware threat, there is no help — cybercrime that happens to individuals, small businesses, or nonprofits is not a priority and those victims are left with no place to seek justice.
Diana will change that by expanding the Unit’s focus to properly serve the entire community, not just large corporations.
Diana will revamp the Cyber Crime Unit to ensure that individuals and small businesses in Manhattan are not forgotten. The Unit will focus on data breaches, sextortion schemes, email/phishing scams, targeted elder cyber fraud schemes, malware infections targeting financial information, business email fraud, and activist-based attacks on websites.
Among other crimes, the Unit will target ransomware attacks, which are an increasing threat to individuals and small businesses. These attacks, which threaten permanent data destruction or release unless a ransom payment is made within a stated deadline, can be catastrophic for individuals and small businesses who do not have access to experts. Instead of turning victims away and directing them to private cyber security companies, the Unit will partner with federal, state and local authorities to investigate and bring to justice these 21st century criminals.
The Unit will provide direct services to individuals, nonprofits, and small businesses that have been victims of cybercrime.The Unit will be staffed with IT analysts to help victims identify if ransomware or data breaches are actual threats and will assist in dealing with the aftermath of these attacks.
The Unit will conduct joint training with financial institutions at senior centers, schools, and NYCHA community centers to teach community members how to protect themselves, their data, and what to do if they are a cybercrime victim.
In order to address the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the cyberworld and more specifically in cybersecurity, the Unit will provide underrepresented youth paid internships in order to develop skills in technology and cybersecurity.